Do you like cheese? How about beer? Okay, hear us out… What if they were together in a soup? Now we have your attention!
Nothing quite satisfies the senses like a warm, creamy bowl of our tasty beer cheese soup. In this article, we’ll lay out the recipe you’ll need to make this delicious dinner.
Beer cheese soup is very aptly named since it’s a combination of cheese and beer, which creates the most delectable soup you’ll ever have.
This soup isn’t the healthiest snack you could have. It’s not kale salad or green smoothie, that’s for sure. But this soup is an all-American comfort food that will wash away your high-calorie guilt with every delicious spoonful.
Our cheesy beer soup manages to be creamy, melty, and just a little bit spicy, thanks to three different kinds of cheese, a bit of applewood smoked bacon, some jalapenos, and a bit of heavy cream.
The History of Beer Cheese Soup
Beer’s use in soups dates back to the Middle Ages when hungry and desperate Men-At-Arms would use their ample stocks of beer as a means of cooking broth for their breakfast stews. Old recipes were very barebones, using only beer that’s been boiled and thickened with stale bread and egg yolks.
Over time, more ingredients were added to soup recipes like onions, spices, vegetables, and (most importantly) cheese. But what we know of as modern beer cheese soup was born and raised in America’s own backyard: Wisconsin. Cheese is the number one food group of the state of Wisconsin. Wondering what the number two is? Beer. It’s no surprise that these forces were combined by the native cheeseheads of the region, who reinvented beer soup.
During the frosty and brutal Wisconsin winters, there’s nothing better than cuddling up in front of the fireplace, watching the Packers game, and absolutely obliterating a hot bowl of beer cheese soup.
These days, almost every bar in Wisconsin offers some variation of beer cheese soup, all of which are definitely worth trying if you’re in the area! If you’re a local, don’t take this fantastic food for granted.
Our Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
You’re going to need to gather some key ingredients for this soup.
1. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
The basic building block of life for this soup is cheese—cheddar cheese, to be precise. The sharper, the better!
“Sharp” is a term that reflects the taste and texture of cheese based on its age. Mild cheddar is aged 2 to 3 months, sharp 6 to 9 months, and extra-sharp 1 1/2 to 2 years. As cheddar ages, it grows from mild to tangier with time, adding complex flavors.
2. Mild Cheddar Cheese
Mild cheddar is smooth, milky, and much less intense than its sharp counterpart. When added to our soup, it imbues it with a fresh and bright flavor to contrast with the tangier sharpness of previous cheddar additions.
3. Pepper Jack Cheese
Pepper jack, a derivative of Monterey Jack, is an American style of cheese created by the Mexican Franciscan friars of Monterey, California. It has become one of the most popular cheeses around for its zesty, spicy flavor.
Pepper jack is semi-soft, open-textured, and balances an inherent spiciness with an undeniable buttery taste. This combination makes it a perfect choice for being melted into other foods such as quesadillas, tacos, and soups.
At this point, it’s basically illegal not to add bacon to everything you’re cooking. There’s even bacon-flavored ice cream… And it’s actually pretty good!
We recommend adding bits of applewood smoked bacon to the mix for our beer cheese soup recipe. If you’ve ever wondered, “Hey, what the hell is applewood smoked bacon anyway?” you are not alone. Here’s a quick explanation so you’ll never have to ask again:
Applewood smoked bacon differentiates itself from regular bacon by using applewood chips to cure and smoke the meat instead of regular wood. This process gives the bacon a hint of sweetness after being dry-cured that compliments the strong flavors of the cheese perfectly.
Finally, the ingredient we’ve all been waiting for: Beer!
Beer is the essential, critical ingredient within this soup that will define how it tastes. You must carefully decide what kind of beer will accompany the orchestra of flavors and textures at play within this dish.
You are free to use any beer you want, but as a rule of thumb, we recommend some kind of pilsner or light ale for this recipe as it is light in flavor, less hoppy, and overall works well for cooking.
Here are some beers we suggest you use for our beer cheese soup:
This crisp, clean, and clear beer is produced by the RH Brewing Company of Staten Island, New York. R&H is a perfect beer for soup because it provides a grainy sweetness.
This hazy, yellow, and citrusy IPA is brewed with pilsner and Vienna malts at the Interboro Brewing Company of Brooklyn, New York. It’s yet another beer with a light and refreshing taste that would balance out the sharper cheeses for our soup.
Shower Beer Pilsner
This Bohemian pilsner has a fresh, clean maltiness and spicy flavor created by the Champion Brewing Company of Charlottesville, Virginia. This beer is another fantastic option for our soup recipe because it is aged cold on lager yeast for weeks, creating a truly crisp and refreshing flavor.
In addition to all these main ingredients, you’ll also need these other more traditional ingredients:
- Cayenne pepper
- Black Pepper
Steps To Make Beer Cheese Soup
Begin by cooking up the bacon and, after it’s crispy, remove it from the pan. Be sure to save a bit of cooking fat for cooking your aromatics.
Next, sauté the onions, garlic, and peppers in the fat from earlier. Then add in butter, melt it, then stir in a few tablespoons of flour to make a roux. Whisk thoroughly to ensure the mixture is thoroughly combined. The resulting flour-fat mixture is essential for the creaminess of the final soup.
Now, be sure to pour in the beer of your choice, then the stock and cream. Afterward, add the cheeses slowly and stir consistently, so they are evenly distributed. Try not to let the soup simmer to keep it smooth and creamy. When it’s reached the desired level of meltiness, you can use an immersion blender to ensure that it’s as smooth as possible.
Finally, serve the cooked and hot soup fresh. Don’t forget to garnish with crumbled bacon. You could also garnish and serve with dijon mustard and soft pretzels on the side.
There you have it: the best beer cheese soup recipe for your tasting pleasure. This soup is one of the most creamy, cheesy, and rich recipes out there and will blow your taste buds away.
This time of year is when people crave warm, comforting foods to accompany the colder weather. It’s no wonder this magical dish developed out of the hearty people of Wisconsin who needed it during harsh winters!
The only downside of this soup is that it uses all your precious beer to make! That means you’re going to need more to drink, and that’s where TapRm comes in. Check out the wide selection of beers available to restock your shelves after making this tasty recipe!